This poem is taken from Stand 224, 17(4) December 2019 - February 2020.

Jennifer Lee Tsai Poem
Another Language

When I speak in Cantonese,
Iā€™m a different person.
Louder, brighter.
The seven tones, ascending,
descending like musical notes.

My grandparents,
leaving the fragrant harbour
of Hong Kong, the Pearl River of Guangzhou,
for the dream of a better life in the West ā€“
what did they make of English?

Alighting from the liner at the docks
in the rain, hearing Liverpool accents
for the first time ā€“
two gold koi
swimming into the Mersey

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